Chapter Two

The Dreamscape

Gabrielle had quickly found herself asleep and in a dreamscape. Nothing like she had ever experienced before. This was different. It was out of necessity. “This is my dream. What are you doing here?” Demanded Gabrielle.

An astonished Ares found himself in Gabrielle’s dreamscape. But why? Why was he here. “We are on common ground.”

“Common ground? I don’t think so,” Gabrielle said. She looked around. Nothing about this place even remotely ringed a bell.

“We are both worried about the same person,” Ares said.

“Xena?” Gabrielle asked. But why would he be concerned about Xena. “Why do you care?”

“Because. I can care about a mortal every now and then you know,” Ares smirked.

“Only when it suits your purpose,” Gabrielle interjected.

“Be careful,” Ares warned. He then vanished.

“Something about this place . . . ,” Gabrielle said. She then heard a familiar voice call out to her. It wasn’t Xena’s. “Hope?”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Siege of Costos

“The villagers refused to give into our demands,” Antonius said. He looked to his commander with great despair.

“Very well then. Burn it to the ground,” Xena ordered. She looked down onto the village. She was smitten with their fear. She could smell it.

“When do you wish to attack,” a soldier asked.

“Now will do,” Xena said. She stayed behind, watching her army raze Costos to the ground. Xena never stayed behind her army. She would often lead them into battle. It was what a devoted commander did. And Xena was devoted.

Her soldiers burned the huts. Took food, took valuables and slaughtered anyone that opposed them.

The siege was over in a matter of a few candlemarks. The land was destroyed. The women and children were left alive, at least those that remained in the village. Most of them ran when the army came.

“Xena! Xena!” the men chanted. They hailed their commander.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Gabrielle awoke in a cold sweat. Something had frightened her.

“You okay?” Lila asked. She tried to hold a calming hand out to Gabrielle.

“Something is happening. It’s Xena. She’s in trouble,” Gabrielle said.

“I’m sure whatever it is, Xena can take care of it herself,” Lila said. “You should rest some more.” Lila helped her lay back down on the bed.

“If your gut tells you something is wrong, it usually is,” Xena commanded as Gabrielle drifted back to sleep.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Message to Poteidaia

“What do you want with me,” the villager pleaded.

Xena had a death grip on the old man. “I want you to go to Poteidaia. Warn them that they don’t give us what we want, we’ll kill them all. Including the woman and children,” Xena ordered. She released him and he fell to the ground.

Two soldiers pick him up an escort him to the village.

“Put him on a horse. Take a few of the heads with you, place them in sacks and send them back with him. That should convince them that we mean business.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“Help! You are in danger,” the rider shouted.

Gabrielle and Lila were shopping in the marketplace.

The rider climbed off his horse. By this time, a small circle had formed.

“A fearless, heartless warlord. If you don’t give into their demands, they’ll kill you all,” the rider said. He collapsed to the ground.

“By the Gods,” a villager snapped.

“What demands?” another villager asked.

Several arrows flew into the village.

Gabrielle took Lila and got her to safety. The one time she wanted Xena, and she wasn’t there. Too far to go for help.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Village Warrior

“You are our only hope,” the village elder said. “You helped us before.”

“That was different,” Gabrielle urged. She could do it again, but without a ‘real’ warrior, they’d be defeated in a fight.

“Surely, that Xena taught you something,” another elder quipped.

They were right. Xena had taught her something. Never bite off more than you can chew. Never force yourself into a situation you can’t handle. And when outnumbered, run. She couldn’t run. She could handle the situation. She could only hope that maybe Xena had heard about the attack and was on her way.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Fearsome Duo

“Come on Herc,” Iolaus said. “Minos said that he’d meet us in Costos.”

“I know what Minos said. I just have this bad feeling about what he wants us to do,” Hercules said. Minos was a good friend to not only them, but to Xena as well. Minos was a gifted healer of not only the body, but of the mind. He had saved both Xena and Hercules’ lives.

“Help me,” a small, weak voice said.

“What was that?” Iolaus asked.

“Sounded like someone called out for help,” Hercules said. He looked through some bushes.

“Gods have mercy on the people of Poteidaia,” the voice said.

“There’s nothing I can do you for you friend,” Hercules grinned. The wound was too serious.

“Help the people of Poteidaia. They shouldn’t suffer the same fate as Costos,” the voice dropped off.

Hercules and Iolaus made their way to Costos. It was worse than what they had thought it would be. Everything was razed to the ground. Not a living thing in sight.

“Hercules, Iolaus,” a voice said.

“Minos?” Iolaus said.

“I got here after it happened,” Minos said. “I don’t know who’s responsible.”

“Take it easy Minos,” Hercules said. “Whoever did this, wanted to send a message to Poteidaia.”

“Herc, that’s Gabrielle’s village,” Iolaus said. “We should go there and warn them.” The three men headed towards Poteidaia.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Only Thing in the Way

“Xena, our advance scouts have spotted Hercules heading towards Poteidaia,” the soldier said.

“Hercules you said? Wonder how he heard of me so quick,” Xena questioned.

“Everyone has heard of you Xena,” the soldier said.

Ares appeared. “I love this. You sacked an entire village today.”

“What’s it to you any ways,” Xena quipped.

“I’m just trying to understand this sudden bloodlust. But whatever it is, I love it,” Ares said. He walked behind Xena. He pulled her back and began to massage her shoulders.

“What is after Poteidaia?” Xena asked.

“Defeat Hercules and you’ll become the ‘Destroyer of Nations’,” Ares said.

“Hercules is the only person standing my way of achieving my destiny,” Xena said. “Should there be anyone else I should be concerned about?”

“None that I’m aware of. Poteidaia is a just a village that loves peace,” Ares laughed.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

A Reunion of Sorts


Gabrielle turned around and saw the familiar face. “Iolaus!” She walked over to Iolaus. It was good to see him. “Is Hercules with you?” “Yes. We heard about your problem,” Iolaus said.

“All to serious of a problem. A warlord, don’t know the name, razed a village to the ground. We are next on the list. They’ve already sent warnings to us,” Gabrielle said. She walked along beside Iolaus.

“Where’s Xena?” Iolaus asked.

“She’s in Amphipolis,” Gabrielle said. “It’s so good to see you.”

“Mind if I break this reunion up,” Hercules intervened.

A blushed Iolaus turned around. “Xena’s in Amphipolis.”

“Xena’s taught you a lot,” Minos said.

“Minos?” Gabrielle asked. “What are you doing here?”

“I was going to Costos to meet up with Hercules and Iolaus. Lucky for me I was delayed. Whoever is behind this, didn’t want anything left for the survivors or anyone else,” Minos charged. “It was awful.”

“We’ll find out who’s behind this,” Hercules said. “I’ll speak with the villagers.”

“Knowing Xena, she’s probably already on her way here,” Iolaus smirked. “So how are you?” He and Gabrielle went for a walk. “Tired. Everything’s been rough lately,” Gabrielle said. “Everything.”

“Tell me about,” agreed Iolaus.

“I don’t know anymore. I’m different. Xena’s different,” sighed Gabrielle.

“Everything will be fine,” assured Iolaus. “Nothing will happen.” Iolaus gave Gabrielle a hug.

“I don’t know. I have this feeling like something is going to go wrong,” Gabrielle said. Gabrielle was comforted by Iolaus. Seeing him, made her feel better.

“Want me to go to Amphipolis and get Xena?” asked Iolaus.

“Yeah.” Gabrielle said. She stared off into the sky.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“What are you doing here?” the warrior asked. The woman felt a presence appear from behind her.

“I want to watch my favorite warrior destroy a peaceful village. This should be interesting,” Ares charged.

“Why are you so obsessed with this village? What is there that you want?” she questioned. “Can’t be gold.”

“There is nothing there in particular of interest to me, but to you there is.”

“What could a peace-loving village have what I want?”


“I’m going to be able to kill two birds with one stone, excellent,” mused Xena.

“Commander, we found this villager by the camp.” A soldier threw the villager into the tent.

The villager looked up at the Warrior Princess. “By the gods!” “What were you doing sneaking around our camp. Spying? For Hercules?”


“Do I know you?” She took out a dagger and held it close to his throat. “You know me, but I’m afraid I don’t know you. Perhaps you could help me out a little.”

“Everyone has heard of you,” the villager said. “My name is Minos.”

“Minos?” She looked at him a with defining stare of death. She took the dagger from his throat and it held it at her side. The name meant something to her, but she couldn’t do it. “Minos? Hmm, I don’t know a Minos.” She grabbed him again, forcing him to the ground and placed the dagger back at his throat.

“I want to serve in your army,” trembled Minos. He tried to show her no fear, he knew the old Xena. He knew the old Xena thrived off of people’s fear. It is what made her powerful. He didn’t want to give her his fear.

“Ha! You wouldn’t survive a day. Get rid of him,” Xena ordered. A soldier started to drag Minos out of the tent. “No. Wait. We’ll make an example out of him. Tie him up. He’ll be our first kill of the day.”

Minos feared for his life. He couldn’t believe what was seeing. Xena, the warlord. He knew she recognized him, but she couldn’t place him. The way she looked at him. She was signing his own death. Minos fought the soldier off and then escaped.

“The prisoner, he’s escaped!”

“You can’t do anything right,” Xena said. She smashed the soldier into the ground. “Let him go.”

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